Israel and Florida: A Strong and Growing Economic Partnership

Israel and Florida have a strong relationship, sharing many common areas of business activity. In August 2013 the State of Florida and the State of Israel signed in a memorandum of understanding agreement to promote collaborative research, development and commercialization of projects related to space. For Israel this means an expansion of its economic cooperation abroad, and for Florida it means maintaining and strengthening its space sector despite NASA’s recent pull-out. Under this agreement, the governments of Israel and Florida are matching each other, dollar for dollar, to establish a fund to provide grants to Israeli and Florida companies that present joint research ideas for innovative space technologies.

Florida and Israel also have a history of strong cooperation in defense and homeland security, as well as in the life sciences fields. Both industries are highly developed in Israel and in Florida, and Israeli companies are increasingly looking to Florida when seeking to expand to the U.S and Latin America. Israeli-based Mazor Robotics chose to take advantage of Florida’s friendly business climate, investing $150,000 opening their U.S. headquarters in Orlando, Florida in 2012, and creating over 30 local jobs.

The state of Florida has much to offer Israeli companies and has a large and active Jewish community. No other site in the Western Hemisphere can match Florida’s unique combination of strategic geographic location, state-of-the-art infrastructure, multilingual workforce, and concentration of corporate and financial resources. From Florida, companies can do business globally, both virtually and in the real world.

International Business Center:
Florida is host to regional and hemispheric headquarters of companies from all over the world, a vibrant international banking center and a diplomatic hub with a Consular Corps representing some 80 nations. Many international firms base other facilities, such as warehousing, distribution and manufacturing, in Florida to take advantage of its easy access to global markets.

International Business Facts About Florida:
Florida is a major gateway for merchandise trade between North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, and other world regions. In 2012, goods valued at US$162 billion entered or exited the United States through Florida’s two U.S.
Customs Districts. (U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division)

  • The value of merchandise flowing into and out of the United States via Florida’s two U.S. customs districts has increased by 135% over the past decade. (U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division)
  • Florida is home to 58,310 exporting companies—second only to California. One out of every five, or 20%, of the nation’s companies that export are located in Florida. (U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division)
  • Florida ranks 6th in the nation in state-origin exports (i.e. those actually produced or with significant value-added in the state), which reached US$66.4 billion in 2012. (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Florida ranks 3rd among all U.S. states in high-tech exports, reaching over US$16.4 billion in 2011. (World Institute for Strategic Economic Research and Enterprise Florida estimates)
  • Foreign-owned companies employed 223,600 Floridians in 2010, the 6th highest in the nation, and 1st in the Southeast. (Bureau of Economic Analysis)
  • Miami is one of the nation’s leading centers for international banking. Numerous foreign and domestic banks active in international trade and finance have offices in Florida.
  • Florida is the world’s telecommunications gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean: a multitude of undersea and terrestrial fiber optic cables converge in Florida, ensuring unparalleled global connectivity.
  • Florida sits at the nexus of transportation links in the Americas. The state’s 15 deepwater seaports, 19 commercial airports, and 50+ officially-designated multimodal connectors ensure the seamless movement of people and goods between any two points on the planet.
  • Florida is home to hundreds of airports, including commercial service airports and general aviation airports. Florida’s airports have numerous direct flights to all key Latin American and Caribbean destinations, most major European cities, and one-stop air services to the Asia/Pacific region.
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Florida has nearly 5 million speakers of languages other than English.